Brandon Roy, the former NBA star turned prep coach at Seattle schools Nathan Hale (where he won a national title with Michael Porter Jr.) and Garfield announced that he would take the 2018-19 school year off from coaching before returning for the 2019-20 campaign.
As reported by the Seattle Times, among other outlets, Roy will not fully resign from his position at Garfield, as was previously reported, but will instead take a one-year hiatus from the program.
That’s comforting news for Garfield officials, who already knew they would be without Roy for the 2018-19 campaign, they just didn’t know that he planned to come back, or they had not previously made that decision public.
Rather, it appears the confusion about Roy’s future plans may have been due in no small part due to an inaccurate job posting on the district’s employment website; the school is currently searching for a girls basketball coach on a permanent basis, and it’s possible that the position opening for the boys role was accidentally posted first in place of that opportunity.
One of Roy’s longtime lieutenants, JayVon Nickens, will reportedly serve as Garfield’s interim coach for 2018-19.
It’s up to Nickens to move the program forward after a one-loss 2017-18 season finished with a Class 3A state title, Roy’s second state champinoshi pin as many years at two different schools. Making matters much more challenging still is the raft of departures of players who helped lead Garfield to glory just last season. As chronicled previously here and elsewhere, the team’s three most prominent prospects have all announced plans to transfer elsewhere.
That means Nickens will have to oversee significant development among the program’s incoming freshmen, and fast. If he does that, he should prove not only that he’s capable of leading Garfield in Roy’s stead, but perhaps that he’s capable of leading a major program regardless of the preceding circumstances.